Over the past year Boston-based Get On Down has been coming out with some amazing vintage Wu-Tang Clan merch, including limited editions of Ghostface Killah‘s “12 Reasons To Die” Packages and GZA‘s “Liquid Swords” Chess Box Vinyl Edition. Now they’re bringing out Raekwon‘s fabled Purple Tape for “Only Built For Cuban Linx” on the 18th anniversary of it’s release.
The build-up to the masterpiece from Raekwon “The Chef” (“I get your mouth watery”) came after the release of the seminal “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” in 1993. That album from the grimy, esoteric, Kung-Fu mimicking coterie from Staten (Shaolin) Island, reverberated across the hip hop landscape and still has relevance today.
But Rae’s release came after some other notable Wu solo acts had already dropped a record, and they set the stage for the fervor of the fans when The Chef’s classic finally came out. Method Man started things off on the Wu solo front with “Tical” in late 1994. Then came Ol’ Dirty Bastard‘s “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” in spring of 1995.
When “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” dropped on August 1, 1995, the first 10,000 cassette tape buyers unwrapped a special purple tape. After that, RCA went back to the usual clear tape, and the Purple Tape became an instant collector’s edition with Raekwon and other Wu members also referring to the record as simple the “Purple Tape.”
In fall of 2012, Get On Down released “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” Purple Tape Cassette Box, which was housed in a glass-top, piano lacquer, 4-inch-tall black display case. The ultra-exlusive set sold out in two days’ time and crashed Get On Down’s servers twice. Since fans have been clamoring for the Purple Tape, they’re giving you another chance.
The album itself is an all-time classic, earning 4.5 mics from The Source when it first dropped, then retroactively getting upgraded to 5-mic status in 2002. Rae and Ghostface Killah—who appears on 12 of the 17 tracks—tear things up, with appearances by Nas, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Master Killa, RZA and the debut of Cappadonna.
The Get On Down Purple Tape [Slipcase Edition] Set features:
*Purple cassette tape with all songs from original 1995 album, housed in a premium purple outer case (which holds the traditional plastic cassette case)
*Meticulously recreated “J-Card” cassette inlay
*Two stickers with images of original “Purple Tape” from 1995 (Sides 1 and 2)
Check out their online store now to grab the classic, and you can wax nostalgic about owning a Purple Tape from Raekwon’s masterpiece.
Where does this rank among the Wu-Tang solo records?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.